Service Quality

Background

On July 9, 2009, the CPUC adopted its current Service Quality Rules contained in General Order (GO) 133-C. In December 2011, the CPUC opened a Proceeding to evaluate carrier performance and consider modification of its Rules, including:

  • Provision of adequate information to customers.
  • Relevance of Service Quality rules in today's market.
  • Potential implementation of penalty mechanisms.

On May 18, 2012, the CPUC issued a Ruling requiring carriers to provide data on such issues as:

  • Winter outages of 2010-2011.
  • Internal standards for service quality.
  • How networks are monitored.
  • Industry best practices.

In September 2012, the CPUC issued a Ruling that resulted in a January 2013 a workshop to solicit feedback from parties on the scope and focus of the evaluation of carrier facilities and related investment, repair, maintenance policies and practices, and the development of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a study. The Ruling also proposed to hire a consultant to perform the evaluation by the 1st quarter 2013 and to have the study completed by the 4th quarter of 2013.

On February 28, 2013, the CPUC issued a Decision adopting the funding mechanism to evaluate telecommunications facilities and ordered AT&T and Verizon to split proportionally the costs of the study based on their respective share of total intrastate revenues.

The cost of the study is capped at $1.5 million.

The CPUC has not yet hired a consultant to perform the study.

 

ORA's Policy Position

ORA strongly supported the CPUC’s action to open this Rulemaking to review the performance of telecommunications corporations to ensure that they are meeting General Order (GO) 133-C service quality performance standards. ORA supports Service Quality goals that:

  • Uphold the standards adopted in the CPUC 2009 Service Quality decision.
  • Extend Service Quality rules and reporting to wireless carriers.
  • Conduct targeted engineering audits on telephone providing poor quality service.
  • Enforce 90% of repairs within 24 hours standard.
  • Strengthen trouble report rate standards.
  • Improve network outage recovery response time.
  • Implement penalties for telephone carriers that fail to meet those standards.

See ORA’s June 14, 2012 Comments in Response to the CPUC’s May 2012 Ruling.

See ORA’s January 31, 2012 Opening Comments.

See ORA’s March 1, 2012 Reply Comments.

ORA supported the CPUC’s February 2013 Decision to fund an independent study to gauge the condition of carrier infrastructure and facilities to ensure that facilities support a level of service consistent with public safety and customer needs. ORA recommended that the study should:

  • Focus on determining the causes of the service quality failures of Verizon and AT&T
  • Establish best practices for policies that affect service quality, including investment strategies, facility repair, staffing, and maintenance.  
  • Be geographically diverse, balanced between urban, suburban, rural, and very low population areas in order to accurately capture California’s demographics across race and income.

See ORA’s February 19, 2013 Comments on the CPUC’s Proposed Decision.

See ORA’s February 25, 2013 Reply Comments.

See ORA’s February 28, 2013 Comments on the Study regarding network infrastructure.

See ORA’s March 6, 2013 Reply Comments.  

   

Proceeding Status

See the proceeding docket.